Kyle Harrison grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Dr. Miles Harrison, who famously played lacrosse at Morgan State. He first started playing the sport at age 3 and went on to play at Friends School in Baltimore. Harrison also played soccer and basketball at Friends School and won state titles in all three of his sports, but lacrosse was where he truly stood out.
This is Kyle Harrison’s player profile.
Kyle Harrison Player Profile: A Modern-Day Pioneer
While Harrison was at Friends School, he won two lacrosse state championships and was named an All-American during his senior year after recording 52 points and more than 100 ground balls. That led to a scholarship to Johns Hopkins.
During his freshman season at JHU, Harrison was a starting midfielder and took faceoffs. He finished the campaign sixth in faceoff percentage, going 120-of-190 (.632) and averaging just more than five ground balls per game. He began his college career off with a bang, winning 11-of-15 battles at the stripe and netting two goals against defending-champion Princeton in the 2002 season opener.
Over the next three seasons, Kyle Harrison continued his success and upped his profile at Johns Hopkins, being named an All-American player and Tewaaraton finalist in each of those three years. That culminated in becoming the first minority Tewaaraton winner in NCAA history and the only Johns Hopkins player to ever claim the award. Harrison capped his collegiate career by leading JHU to an undefeated 16-0 season and the 2005 national championship, the program’s first title in almost 20 years. At JHU, he still ranks 11th all-time in career ground balls (304), 10th in faceoffs (537) and faceoffs won (328), and is third in career faceoff percentage (.611).
Following his collegiate career, Harrison signed a contract with STX to be the signature athlete for the company.
“I was able to sign a pretty good deal with STX,” Harrison said on the Unbuckled Chinstrap podcast in 2020. “That deal enabled me to be a professional lacrosse player [full time].”
Harrison’s professional career began when he was selected NO. 1 overall by the New Jersey Pride in the 2005 MLL Draft. He spent three seasons with New Jersey before being traded to the LA Riptide. Following his lone season in Los Angeles, Harrison sign with the Denver Outlaws in 2009.
After the 2009 campaign, Harrison left MLL and started LXM. He and other players who lived on the West Coast wanted to make sure the sport grew outside of the traditional East Coast hubs and created a league that cut down on the travel for West Coast players.
While the league wasn’t a success in most people’s eyes, Harrison told Paul Carcaterra on a podcast that he was proud of the the LXM had on professional lacrosse. He was frustrated with the lack of equipment partnerships within MLL – the league was exclusively branding with Warriors, so all players had to wear Warrior equipment regardless of individual sponsorships. Once the LXM and MLL reached a partnership in 2014, MLL announced partnerships with other lacrosse brands so players could wear their gear like other professional athletes in other sports.
Kyle Harrison returned to MLL in 2014 and went No. 1 overall in the dispersal draft to the Ohio Machine. At the time, he was unsure if he even wanted to play in Ohio, but he later said that deciding to play with the Machine was one of the best decisions he ever made.
“It’s super comparable to college,” he told Phil Shore of USA Lacrosse Magazine in 2017. “We stay in touch all year. We don’t show up Friday or Saturday and then disappear. What I love, with the team, it allows guys to fulfill their roles. We don’t need everybody to be Marcus Holman.”
In his first season with the Machine, Harrison set career highs in goals and points. His veteran leadership and on-field play were a huge part of the Machine’s back-to-back title game appearances in 2016 and 2017, winning the crown in 2017. Harrison finished his MLL playing career after the 2018 season with the Machine, concluding as a seven-time MLL All-Star and with 218 career points.
In 2019, Kyle Harrison joined Redwoods LC in the PLL where he has been a team captain for the past three seasons. He’s been trying to help the game grow in underserved communities since he graduated from JHU, and he has been a huge advocate for social justice and equality throughout his career. He is one of the lead organizers for the PLL Assists program, which is designed to help inspire inclusiveness and bring awareness to marginalized members of society. Harrison has also been an advocate for creating conversation around social inequalities, educating, and making the game of lacrosse more diverse.
Before the start of the 2021 season, Kyle Harrison announced that it would be his last. While he may not be the KA18 that was a dominant force in lacrosse for almost two decades, he has still been a valuable member of the Redwoods both on and off the field.